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Happy Birthday Adam Gilchrist: The wicketkeeper who redefined batting in Tests

Adam Gilchrist scored a total of 15461 runs and won three World Cups with Australia in 1999, 2003 and 2007.

Written by: India TV Sports Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: November 14, 2018 13:25 IST ]
Image Source : GETTY

Adam Gilchrist has won three World Cup titles with Australia

Adam Gilchrist changed the way batting in Test cricket was like and since his departure, very few have been able to match up to the southpaw be it for Australia or the world.

A wicketkeeper by trade, Gilchrist, coming down the order at No.6 was a menace to deal with for bowlers. His attacking intent along with his shrewd cricketing brain made him such a dangerous customer down the order in whites.

The thing about Gilly was that he had the ability to take the game away from the opposition in a jiffy. His counter-attacking ways and powerful hitting would help Australia reach big scores in sessions and that's what made the wicket-keeper batsman so dangerous.

In white-ball cricket as well, very few batters have had such impact like Gilchrist has had. When he came into the side, he was a slogger, who would bat at No.7 and look to make the most of the death overs. 

But, it all changed in 1998 during the Carlton & United Series involving Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. He started the tournament as a lower middle-order batter but Steve Waugh's masterstroke changed the way Australia played for the next decade or so.

In the first final of the series, Australia lost to South Africa by 6 runs and were 1-0 down in the best of three formats. Gilchrist that was sent in to open with Mark Waugh in their chase of 242 but failed to make an impact. But the idea was correct and in the next match, it paid off. He smashed 100 off 104 balls as the hosts chased 228. His knock helped the hosts win the match by 7 wickets and the next final as well by 14 runs to take the series.

A few days later, he again went on to smash a century against New Zealand in the first match of an ODI series as Australia chased down 214 with ease.

Following Gilchrist's promotion up the order, he made a significant change as to how Australia started their innings and few years down the line, following the arrival of Matthew Hayden, the pair formed one of the most destructive partnerships the game has ever seen.

In total, Gilchrist has played 396 international games for Australia and scored 15461 runs, including 33 hundreds and 81 fifties.

India Tv - Adam Gilchrist has effected 92 stumpings for Australia in his international career

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Adam Gilchrist has effected 92 stumpings for Australia in his international career

While he was destructive with the bat, Gilly was equally safe with the gloves behind the stumps. He took 813 catches and affected 92 stumpings as well for the Aussies.

His tally of 379 catches in Tests is only second to South Africa's Mark Boucher, who has 532 catches to his name. He, however, still tops the charts when it comes to catches in ODIs with 417 victims.

Gilchrist has won the World Cup thrice with Australia in 1999, 2003 and 2007 before calling it quits in 2008.

He has also taken part in various T20 leagues around the world including the Indian Premier League, where he won the title with Deccan Chargers in 2009. He has played 80 matches in the IPL and scored 2069 runs at an average of 27.22 and hit two hundreds and 11 fifties.

Gilchrist signed off from the league with a wicket in his last match for Kings XI Punjab and that was perhaps a fitting end to a brilliant career.

Off the field as well, he remains a loved and cherished figure around the cricketing circuit and on his 44th birthday on Wednesday, we take a look at his best knocks in international cricket.

152 vs England at Trent Bridge, 2001 Ashes

India Tv - Adam Gilchrist scored 340 runs in the five-match series

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Adam Gilchrist scored 340 runs in the five-match series

Gilchrist had a stellar Ashes that year and he started the tour with a 143-ball 152 and demoralised the English bowlers, who had no clue how to deal with him for the rest of the series. In the innings, he smashed 20 fours and five sixes as Australia scored 576 in reply to England's 294 in the first innings.

Australia won the Test by an innings and 118 runs.

In the series, Gilly smashed 340 runs at an average of 68 as Australia won the five-match series 4-1.

149 vs Sri Lanka at Barbados, 2007 World Cup final

Gilchrist smashed 149 off 104 balls as Australia piled on a total of 281/4 from their 50 overs. The southpaw clobbered 13 boundaries and 8 sixes at a strike-rate of 143.26 before falling to Dilhara Fernando in the 31st over.

But, the damage was done and in reply, Sri Lanka managed 215/8 and lost the game by 53 runs via DLS method.

With the win, Australia lifted their fourth World Cup trophy and that was Gilly's second.

204 not out vs South Africa at Johannesburg, 2002

This was Gilchirst's highest score in Test cricket and he did it in style as Australia dominated the Proteas in the match.

He smashed 204 off 213 balls as Australia scored 652/7 before declaring. Gilly came in to bat at No.7 and stitched a 317-run stand with Damien Martyn for the sixth wicket to take Australia from 293/5 to 610/6.

Gilchrist smashed 19 fours and 8 sixes in the innings.

In reply, the home side were bowled out for 159 and 133 as Australia won the match by an innings and 360 runs.

172 vs Zimbabwe at Hobart, 2004

This was Gilchrist's highest score in ODI cricket.

Opening the batting with Hayden, he took off from the word go and the pair put on an opening stand of 140 runs before the latter fell. But that didn't stop him as he carried on in his usual fashion and scored a daddy hundred to take Australia's score to 310/3 from 44.2 overs before falling on 172 to Sean Ervine.

Gilchrist hit 13 fours and three sixes in the innings.

In reply, Zimbabwe could only manage 196/6 from their full quota of 50 overs and lost the match by 148 runs

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